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Humane Society Combats Typical Post-Holiday Problem

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Humane Society of Southwest Missouri is not experiencing the usual return of several animals used as pets over the holidays because of a special effort to help deal with that issue.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Humane Society of Southwest Missouri is not experiencing the usual return of several animals used as pets over the holidays because of a special effort to help deal with that issue.

"A lot of people love the idea of giving animals as gifts, they'll have family members that they think, 'That person could do really well with a dog or a cat. They could really use something to care for," Chelsey Miller, of the Humane Society, said. 

Miller at the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri says that while it's true: a pet makes a great gift for any animal lover.

"Usually there is a boost in adoptions during the holiday season," Miller said.

A surprise pooch can pose a bit of a problem for some. That's why humane society workers "try to be proactive rather than reactive," according to Miller.

It starts with the application process, something they look at carefully during the holiday season.

"We lead them in a bit of a different direction. We say 'We have these gift cards,'" Miller said. "We'll explain to them, it's really important when someone is coming to pick out a pet that they make a connection."

Workers at the humane society tell us that because of this effort, more adoptive pets are staying at home -- meaning less are being returned to the shelter.

"It's really stressful on animals to first go to a home environment and then be returned to a shelter environment when they've had the opportunity to not be there for a while," Miller said.
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